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Re: [hreg] Workshops and threads

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  • Chuck Wright
    This link has several papers about oil. I looked at the first one, and it is most interesting. http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/web/html/matt.asp?thispage=simple
    Message 1 of 9 , May 14, 2000
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      This link has several papers about oil. I looked at the first one,
      and it is most interesting.

      http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/web/html/matt.asp?thispage=simple

      Cuhck Wright

      --
      Chuck Wright
      http://www.chuck-wright.com
    • Ewert, Mike
      This is fantastic James! You definitely deserve an atta boy from HREG. We ll reward you by electing you secretary/treasurer at the next meeting (A little
      Message 2 of 9 , May 15, 2000
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        This is fantastic James! You definitely deserve an 'atta boy' from HREG.
        We'll reward you by electing you secretary/treasurer at the next meeting (A
        little selfish on our part, I know).

        Q: When you say "Based on the strict current limited requirements of that
        small internal battery", do you mean that a normal charge controller set on
        either sealed or flooded would allow the voltage to go too high or low?

        -----Original Message-----
        From: James Ferrill [mailto:jferrill@...]
        Sent: Friday, May 12, 2000 3:14 PM
        To: hreg@egroups.com
        Subject: Re: [hreg] Workshops and threads


        Chuck Wright wrote:

        > James Ferrill wrote:
        >
        > > That's how my solar lawn equipment project got started. I needed to make
        better
        > choices, and invent them if necessary.
        >
        > Nice to have this interaction going on! Tell us more about your
        > solar lawn equipment project...
        >
        > Chuck Wright

        Hey Chuck,

        What I have observed is that although solar technology has advanced, no one
        other than a
        few interested people have actually made use of solar energy in a practical
        way. If I
        went to my neighbors and poured my guts out all day about why they should be
        doing more
        with solar, the conversations would always end up focused around 2
        questions, "How much
        will it cost?" and "Where do I get the stuff?". This is where the equation
        always breaks
        down. How to answer the question, "How do you implement use of solar power
        for XXXXXXX
        in a suburban environment?".

        I've reasoned that I need to start by doing a small project that everyone
        can relate to
        and that would make a difference that mattered to my neighbors. The project
        I came up
        with is a solar recharged lawn mower. If you know how much pollution lawn
        equipment
        emits, it's a sickening feeling when you walk outside on a weekend and see
        all your
        neighbors mowing, edging, and leaf blowing with poorly maintained, dirty,
        polluting
        equipment in Houston (which is now the pollution capital of the US, it
        seems). What made
        it so important to me is that I know a number of people and friends that
        have asthma,
        including my wife. That kinda makes it personal because I'm using the same
        bad
        equipment.

        I knew that the only things I would have to buy are a standard cordless
        lawnmower, a
        charge controller, and solar panels. That's it. The mower can be something
        like the
        cordless Black and Decker CM1000, 5 hp, mulching mower which is in stock at
        any Home
        Depot. The other two items are also stock items that I can order online from
        any number
        of vendors. I'm going to put an hour meter on the mower so I can log how
        much time it
        has spent mowing. Maybe I'll paint it gaudy colors and stick on solar
        stickers to
        attract attention too :-)

        After I started working on this, I decided to expand the project so that my
        shed and
        everything in it or plugged into it would be solar powered. This way I would
        be able to
        power my weed eater and leaf blower as well as the lawnmower, run the shed
        interior and
        exterior lights, and have a demonstration system that people could come and
        see how
        solar is utilized. My old physics teacher lives in my neighborhood, and I
        envisioned
        being able to let him bring students over to see how solar can be used for
        real and not
        just read about it in a book.

        After the equipment is built and tested for a time, the project needs to go
        on the web.
        I want to start with a domain name like suburban-solar.org or .com and make
        it a base of
        information of my journey to put solar energy to use at my suburban home.
        Along with the
        main page, I want to have a page for each project. I can put all the
        information on this
        page that anyone could want, like specs, runtime, charge time, principles of
        operation,
        etc. And the best thing I want to put on there and update on a regular basis
        is the
        amount of time this mower has been running and a list of how much pollution
        has been
        eliminated in detail. I can get people to visit the web site to see what can
        be done. I
        think it would really make an impact on my neighbors to see and realize just
        how much
        NO2, CO, CO2, SO2, and VOC's that they and everyone else are spewing into
        the air and
        into their kids lungs. I can provide a link for people to email me so that I
        could
        answer any questions they might have. I had sent a similar letter to Greg
        about getting
        TXSES to host the web site and domain, and it didn't sound like a problem. I
        figured I
        would tackle this project in phases:

        1) Acquire the lawnmower and research it's internal circuitry to see how the
        charger can
        be alternately powered.
        2) Acquire and install an hour meter and connector for access to the
        internal battery.
        3) Build battery cabinet for the shed. I already had 4 golf cart batteries.
        Expand as
        needed.
        4) Acquire the solar panels and install on the shed roof.
        5) Acquire a charge controller, 1500W inverter, and related hardware. Create
        a power
        distribution board to mount these components.
        6) Create circuit to recharge mower or simply run power cube off of inverter
        as needed.
        7) Create web site using documentation and notes kept as project has
        progressed.
        8) Spread the word.

        Phases 1 and 2 have been completed. I cut two holes in the lawnmower shell
        and mounted a
        small digital hour meter and connector to the internal battery. I have 2.4
        hours of
        runtime on the mower so far. I talked with David Shaver in Canada, the man
        that actually
        designed the electronics in that mower for B&D and he gave me details on how
        it worked.
        Based on the strict current limited requirements of that small internal
        battery, I
        decided first to charge it normally using the original power cube running
        off the
        inverter and work on a direct DC-DC charger later.

        Phase 3 is 80% completed. I'm over-building the battery cabinet so that it's
        capacity
        can easily be expanded or the voltage changed from 12 to 24 volts. I've used
        1.25" x 1"
        buss bar and 2/0 battery cables to minimize loss in the system. Two small
        fans in the
        bottom push any fumes or hydrogen produced during charging out a 2" PVC vent
        at the top
        to the outside. The box is 5' tall, 3.5' wide, and 2.5' deep, with two
        levels that can
        hold 8 golf cart batteries each for a total of 16 batteries max. Starting
        out with 4
        golf cart batteries will provide 220 Ah @ 24V or 440 Ah @ 12V. I'm designed
        enough
        headroom in there so that a larger, better battery can be used later, such
        as the Trojan
        L16's or equivalent. They're the same size, just taller than my current
        batteries.
        There's some serious framing in this cabinet since 16 batteries would weigh
        1280 pounds.
        I can see my shed sinking into the ground already :-)

        I bought 2 Solec 90W panels and a Morningstar Sunlight series charge
        controller 3 weeks
        ago. After I finish the battery cabinet, they will be mounted on the shed
        roof (phase
        4). I've been taking pictures of each step as I build/add something new, and
        these will
        be scanned in later for the web site. If I get them scanned sooner, I'll
        email out some
        samples. That's where the project stands right now.

        James Ferrill



        ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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      • James Ferrill
        ... Thanks for that info, Chuck. I downloaded all those pdf files and read them oldest to newest. Fascinating and scary at the same time. Based on the facts
        Message 3 of 9 , May 15, 2000
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          Chuck Wright wrote:

          > This link has several papers about oil. I looked at the first one,
          > and it is most interesting.
          >
          > http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/web/html/matt.asp?thispage=simple

          Thanks for that info, Chuck. I downloaded all those pdf files and read them
          oldest to newest. Fascinating and scary at the same time. Based on the facts
          they presented, it seems unlikely we would have an embargo of any kind, except
          from maybe Iraq. But if OPEC keeps the production down, we are basically
          facing demand exceeding supply, with prices going way up and probably gas
          lines again. One interesting fact that I gleaned from that report was the
          question of how do you enforce or even do gas rationing since many stations
          are totally automated with no attendant to enforce the rules. Answer: you
          don't, it's every person for himself :-)

          James
        • James Ferrill
          ... The charge controller I bought was almost the same one on that electric car, a 24V, 20A unit by Morningstar.. The two solar panels I have can charge my
          Message 4 of 9 , May 15, 2000
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            "Ewert, Mike" wrote:

            > Q: When you say "Based on the strict current limited requirements of that
            > small internal battery", do you mean that a normal charge controller set on
            > either sealed or flooded would allow the voltage to go too high or low?

            The charge controller I bought was almost the same one on that electric car, a
            24V, 20A unit by Morningstar.. The two solar panels I have can charge my battery
            bank at 5.25 amps at the most. For maximum life, you limit the maximum charge
            current of a lead-acid battery to the C/20 rate, which is the amp-hour rating of
            the battery divided by 20. My set of golf car batteries have 220 Ah, so the C/20
            rate is 11 amps and thus cannot be overcharged by my panels. But the internal
            battery of the mower is 17 Ah, with a C/20 rate of .85 amp. So connecting the
            same controller/panel setup would result in shortened battery life and probable
            battery failure due to overcharging. The solution is to limit the charging
            current, which is why they selected a power cube for the mower with a max output
            of .8 amps. It limits itself. For the time being, I'll just use the factory
            power cube and run it off of the inverter.

            James
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